Between Scylla and Charybdis: Energy privatization in Greece

Between Scylla and Charybdis: Energy privatization in Greece

 

By Thanos Dokos

Greece is in the process of privatizing two energy-related companies: the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and the Administrator of the Natural Gas System (DESFA). In both cases the highest bidders appear to be Russian companies: Gazprom for DEPA and Sintez for DESFA. But Athens finds itself between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand it is under heavy pressure from the troika of Greece’s international lenders – the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – to privatize and meet specific fiscal targets, and on the other it is the recipient of “friendly advice” from the US and the European Commission to avoid selling DEPA and DESFA to Russian companies because of geopolitical considerations.